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Understanding the Express Entry Program: Your Gateway to Permanent Residency in Canada

Canada’s Express Entry program is a popular and efficient pathway for skilled workers seeking permanent residency. Since its inception in 2015, Express Entry has streamlined the immigration process, allowing qualified candidates to settle in Canada more quickly. This guide will provide a comprehensive overview of the Express Entry program, including its components, application process, and benefits.

What is the Express Entry Program?

The Express Entry program is an online immigration application system managed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). It is designed to manage applications for three key federal economic immigration programs:

Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

For skilled workers with foreign work experience.

Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

For skilled tradespeople.

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

For individuals with Canadian work experience.

How Does Express Entry Work?

The Express Entry system involves several key steps:

Creating an Express Entry Profile

Candidates must create an online profile, providing details about their skills, work experience, language ability, education, and other personal information.

Based on these details, candidates are awarded a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score.

Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)

The CRS is a points-based system used to assess and score candidates.

Factors such as age, education, work experience, language skills, and additional factors (e.g., a job offer in Canada or a provincial nomination) contribute to the CRS score.

Entering the Express Entry Pool

Once the profile is complete, candidates enter the Express Entry pool, where they are ranked against others based on their CRS scores.

Invitation to Apply (ITA)

IRCC conducts regular draws from the pool, inviting the highest-ranking candidates to apply for permanent residency.

Candidates who receive an ITA have 60 days to submit a complete application for permanent residence.

Submitting an Application

After receiving an ITA, candidates must submit a detailed application, including supporting documents such as language test results, educational credential assessments, and work experience letters.

IRCC processes most complete applications within six months.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for Express Entry, candidates must meet the minimum requirements of one of the three federal programs:

Federal Skilled Worker
Program (FSWP)

Minimum work experience: At least one year of continuous, full-time (or equivalent part-time) skilled work experience in the past ten years.

Language proficiency: Meet the minimum language level in either English or French.

Education: A Canadian secondary or post-secondary certificate, diploma, or degree, or an equivalent foreign credential.

Federal Skilled Trades
Program (FSTP)

Minimum work experience: At least two years of full-time work experience in a skilled trade within the five years before applying.

Language proficiency: Meet the minimum language level in either English or French.

A valid job offer or a certificate of qualification in the skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial, territorial, or federal authority.

Canadian Experience
Class (CEC)

Minimum work experience: At least one year of skilled work experience in Canada in the last three years.

Language proficiency: Meet the minimum language level in either English or French.

How long does the Express Entry process take?

An Express Entry profile can be valid for up to one year. Candidates who receive an ITA can expect the Canadian government to process their permanent residence applications within six months. The government begins to measure the processing time when a complete permanent residence application is received. The processing time ends when a final decision is made on the application. If a candidate does not receive an ITA within one year of creating their Express Entry profile, they can simply re-submit their profile if they are still eligible.

How much does Express Entry cost?

Submitting an Express Entry profile to the government pool of eligible

candidates is free of charge.

However, candidates incur some costs before submitting their Express Entry profile.

Possible costs before submitting an Express Entry profile may include:

• English or French language exam by a language-testing organization that has been approved by the Canadian government

• Educational Credential Assessment

• Fees if you need to translate any documents into English or French language

• Hiring an immigration professional (e.g., a law firm). Click here to learn how our Law Firm can help you with Express Entry.

Government fees and other costs after you receive an ITA include:

• Canadian government fees to process permanent residence applications

• Medical exam(s)

• Police background check(s)

• Biometrics fee(s)

Canadian government permanent residence fees for Express Entry (Effective April 30, 2022)

Your application

Processing fee ($950) and right of permanent residence fee. ($575)

Spouse or partner processing fee ($950) and right of permanent residence fee ($575)

Include a dependent child (per child)

$1,525

$1,525

$260

Do I need a Canada job offer under Express Entry?

No, you do not need a job offer to be successful under Express Entry. Obtaining a job offer does not guarantee you will succeed, however it will help to increase your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. You can obtain either 50 or 200 additional CRS points if you receive a job offer that is eligible under Express Entry.

The Express Entry program is designed to be transparent and efficient, offering skilled workers a streamlined path to Canadian permanent residency. With a profile validity of one year and a six-month processing time for complete applications, the journey is straightforward and manageable. For more personalized guidance and to ensure a smooth application process, visit Trivup. We’re here to support you every step of the way, making your Canadian dream a reality.

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